- Well, OK, not just the weekend news, rather all kinds of random tidbits we've been storing up over the past few days, but there's plenty of neat stuff in here for the gaming cognoscenti:

- MMO veteran Damion Schubert has pointed out Daniel James giving out "some pretty hard numbers about Three Rings, which are interesting" - and indeed they are, since the cited Red Herring article reveals: "As silly as it may sound, Puzzle Pirates has been a surprise hit with 2 million registered users, 30,000 of whom have signed up as subscribers—worth a tidy $3.3 million in revenue last year for Three Rings." Don't often see hard numbers like this for indie MMOs.

- Via Jiji, a GameFaqs post translating a French revelation about the Metal Slug Anthology series - specifically: "Where it begins to be funny it's that the roms used to emulate Metal Slug 5 are in reality those from the first dump released on the net, it means the bootleg dump! Yes you've read right, SNKP has used bootleg roms with the watermarked Vx and a P1 which has bankswitches." Wacky stuff.

- 1UP's latest Retro Round-up column has all the usual good Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, and so on smartness, and the bonus video is especially fun: "In this week's Bonus Stage, journey back to the dim and distant era of September 2006 when 1UP skipped out of Tokyo Game Show to meet up with Wired's Chris Kohler to comb through the wonders of Akihabara, Japan's highly specialized nerd district."

- Adventure Classic Gaming has an excellent interview with Jonathan Boakes, the UK native who "single-handedly produced and published commercially the adventure hit game Dark Fall: The Journal", and appears to be a bit of a Renaissance man all round - looks like the game is a surprisingly well-adored re-imagining of those '90s CD-ROM adventures, too - so a niche well worth looking into.

- MMO blog Aggro Me has detailed impressions of Sigil's MMO Vanguard: Saga Of Heroes, and his comments on the game are, even to a MMO neophyte like me, interesting - he criticizes a LOT, but then ends with: "The reality is that Vanguard is the first fantasy MMO worth wasting my time in since EQII and WoW launched. And that's been a while... Even though it's unfinished and I don't agree with some of the decisions made, the fact is that you can be online playing Vanguard right now."

- Over at YouTube, the latest Line Rider video to get feted by all is 'LineRider "Discarded" A Line Rider Short by TechDawg': "This track contained 13,028 lines, yet is only around 2 minutes in length... This movie, "Discarded", the 7th Line Rider Short released by TechDawg, includes the song 'Hero' (feat. Josey Scott) by Chad Kroeger." So, the Chad Kroeger bit is unfortunate, heh, but as Kottke and others note, some of the design is majestic - particularly when it loops around the same jump multiple times at multiple velocities.

- Jason 'Textfiles.com' Scott has a great post about Peter Hirschberg, who is "...true modern renaissance man, combining art, programming, and industrial design. His style is impeccable and pervades all his work, and at various times he has lit up my online life with his craft and creation." And if that sounds a bit gross, check out his history - from Vectro Dream through RetroCade to LEDHEAD, all the way to his superdupercool basement arcade, pictured therein.

- Finally, Grand Text Auto has an extended post called 'Some Joe Schmo Was First to Experience True Interactive Drama', and including some fun comparisons of reality, interactive, wackiness: "But — it turns out that a satirical reality TV show has gone the furthest towards fully enacting this vision of interactive drama, at least once, for a single real person." Anyhow, it's very entertaining, and it's kinda sorta about ARGs and games. So I linked it!